173-175 Duke St
The Clarke Residence, an Italianate post-Great Saint John Fire, two-storey house with veranda, is located on Duke Street in a mixed-use area of the Central Peninsula of Saint John. The building has a deeper setback than its residential neighbours.
The Clarke Residence is designated a Local Historic Place for its architecture and for its association with its former occupants.
The Clarke Residence, with its semi-octagonal full-height bay window, cornice overhang and regularly spaced openings, is a good example of the Italianate residential architecture employed during the rebuilding process following the Great Saint John Fire in 1877. This fire, which destroyed two-thirds of the City of Saint John, would prove to be one of the most catastrophic in the history of Canada. The elements and design in this building, as well as in the rest of the buildings in the area, demonstrated that the city was going to rebuild as well as, if not better than, what was destroyed in the fire. The resilient architecture of this building symbolizes the strong will of the residents of Saint John to rebuild the city.
This home was built for flour inspector John Clarke shortly after the fire, sometime between 1877 and 1880. The Clarke family remained here until the turn of the century. About 1900, E. Bliss McLeod moved into this residence and remained here until his death in 1929. A member of a prominent family from Sussex, New Brunswick, E Bliss McLeod was widely known throughout New Brunswick. He was appointed to the railway mail service in 1892 and served in that capacity for 20 years. In 1912 he became post office inspector for New Brunswick and held that position until 1922.
Source: Planning and Development Department – City of Saint John